Sometimes, facing the guilt of constant ADHD moments can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to forgive yourself, and it can be difficult to accept the forgiveness of others because of your self-proclaimed stupidity and the subsequent guilt. This is one of those times.
I went to Disney World last week, and Wednesday morning I was supposed to have a relaxing date with my wife as we had breakfast reservations at “Be our Guest“. We took a cab to the hotel nearest the Magic Kingdom and were going to walk around the lagoon to the restaurant in the park. Unfortunately, I had taken my phone out to charge in the cab, and left it behind when we got out!
So I called and they said the cabby would be back in about 5 minutes to drop the phone off. I told my wife to go ahead without me so we would make the reservation, and I’d follow once I got my phone (I kept her phone so I could call again if necessary). 20 minutes later, no cab. I called and asked that they make arrangements to just take the phone to the hotel the cab picked me up at, as I could not keep waiting indefinitely. They advised that would be no problem. I started walking around the lagoon and about 10 minutes later, got another call from the company stating the cab was at the drop off with my phone and is going to charge me the fare while they wait for me to come back. Meanwhile, my poor wife is by herself wondering where I am and why I’m not already with her with my phone in hand… Long story short, I handled it and my phone was waiting for me at my hotel when I got back that night. But the date was ruined. To add insult to injury, as I was running around the lagoon to the entry to the Magic Kingdom, the hand sanitizer hanging from my backpack lost its cap and the entire contents spilled onto my shirt, dripping of the shirt down to my leg! Ugh.
I spent the entire day feeling guilty. I could not stop apologizing and eventually had to shut up about it. My wife asked later in the day if I was ok, and I replied “No, I am absolutely not ok. But you are the one who got shafted out my stupidity, so there’s not way I’m going to let this be about me. This whole day is about you, whatever you want.”
While I was able to spoil the hell out of my wife, I kept beating myself up though. How many times is my wife going to have to forgive me for utter stupidity?? Some people might read this and think “What a crybaby! Get over it, dude!” Let me tell you, though, when this shit happens for literally your entire life…
I digress. The guilt was unbearable, and I caught myself on the verge of tears several times; until we met up with my kids and parents later and I realized something:
The evening before, an alligator took a two year old boy from his family in that same lagoon I was rushing around. The same lagoon that I had ferried over the same night; the lagoon which, the next day, they pulled 5 alligators out of to find the remains of that little boy. A freaking alligator ate a 2 year old boy, right in front of his parents.
Imagine their inconsolable horror. Imagine the dismay of the property management offices for Disney. The grief of that family is unimaginable. There are people out there judging the family, judging Disney, judging alligators, but all I’m thinking about is seeing one of my own daughters viciously taken from me and the crushing grief that would cause. As it is, my life is not forever changed except that I will have a week’s worth of magical memories and this stupid cell phone adventure to laugh about. I am still able to look into the smiling faces of my kids and finish my Disney World vacation without significant incident. I just about cried out of frustration over a stupid cell phone and a ruined date (just another frustrating day in my ADHD world) when this other man had literally just wrestled an alligator to try to save his baby. Now I cry for him. If my situation with the stupid taxi service and my own absentmindedness was the worst thing I had to deal with on my vacation, I’d say it’s been a good time.
Always remember, there is someone less fortunate than you. Count your blessings and get on with your day the best you can.